I'm finding it very hard to write today. It's difficult to talk about anything positive after the events of the past week with regards to the terrorist attacks on Beirut and Paris.
I remember the planes hitting the two towers and I remember the fear in my gut and everyone just standing silently shaken watching the TV and I felt that same jolt of fear Saturday morning. I was attending the AFO Conference, eager to play and show the festival organisers what I could do but then I saw the TV and 'all I could do' seemed so trivial as all I wanted to do was cry. Although I did meet some nice people and have a pretty good time I still felt guilty for laughing or enjoying myself and I'm sure I wasn't alone as there seemed to be a permanent semi-circle of people glued to the television. It is hard to carry on but it is important to as a life lived in fear is a life half-lived or perhaps not lived at all so I will try and get a bit more positive on you now!
Let's back track slightly as I haven't updated in a while and at the beginning of November I did a small in-situ set at the Lion's Club Firework Display in Bideford. They were raising money for the hospice and it was a lovely night with superb apple crumble and brilliant fireworks. I've also been up to Bristol again, I know, I might as well live there really! I dropped in on the seven stars to see the refreshingly quirky Sumita play (I am a die hard fan) and she did me the honour of playing my request so that pretty much made my day. Fast forward to the evening and I had a great yet brief time at the Golden Guinea performing solely on mandolin (can't remember the last time I did that... possibly at The Imp 3 years ago!). It was lovely to reconnect with Mark Venus and hear all his good news, congratulations again sir, and yet again 'Dragonfly' sent a hush over the crowd. It's funny 'cause I never thought that song was any good but I heard someone yell, "that's a bloody good song!" so maybe I'll play it more.
Album update: I have been told there was a jam in the pressing machine and delivery has been put back a few weeks so please don't panic kickstarter backers, I have not forgotten you and as soon as I have all the copies they will be assembled with your other rewards and posted off to you, most likely just in time for Christmas.
...and my love affair with Bristol continues...
Autumn is definitely my favourite time of year to visit, it's just leaves, leaves, markets and more leaves and so I spent most of Saturday, you guessed it, kicking around leaves and rambling through markets. I proudly sampled some prawn tempura (Ben had the falafel) and found myself an indian rug for a crazy small amount (£2 ?!?!?!) so yes I remain completely infatuated with the city on water. I love love LOVE Bristol.
Now I ought to actually talk about the music... We ran through the rain and finally found the seven stars on the other side of the river nestled behind some pirate graffiti. I was quite annoyed to find my stick on mic-mantle had come unstuck from my Dulcimer but thankfully after a pint of cider and some reassurance the landlady located some bluetac which saved the day. I wasn't planning on opening my set with Dulce but I was advised to as apparently people like to talk a lot there, it being a pub I wasn't going to be offended if
they did but I'm happy to report they were a great, attentive audience and The Thatcher went down spectacularly well (which was rather nice seeing as I wrote it in Bedminster). They all went down rather well actually which was very nice indeed and I got a lot of positive feedback - always love to play Bristol. I was able to sell an album so that paid for parking (a whopping £15... we really must find somewhere else to park in Bristol when we visit!) but every little helps and it was a lovely day.
So what else have I been up to? Well Ben is finally happy with the artwork and the album is now in the hands of the manufacturers (YAY!) and
we are expecting it to land in mid-November. All being well we are hoping to launch in January but as always in the meantime I am working on getting all the rewards ready for my kickstarter backers. I'm pretty much just waiting for the CDs now as the bags, hearts and lyrics are all done but hey you've got to have the full package ;)
So now we play the waiting game...
ps. Thanks to everyone who came to see me at the Seven Stars, particularly Dan as that pretty much made my day. I'm very much looking forward to returning to Bristol in November (8th Golden Guinea) :-)
Where to begin! Well I had a little holiday, as you know, to Croatia and that was absolute bliss. I'd been feeling very stressed and worn out before but we booked a fairly last minute break and it was just what the doctor ordered. Lots of people expected me to write a bunch of songs out there but that's not really how my mind works and was too busy ostrich-ing in the sea watching all the fish swim by. Apparently I looked very silly and should learn to snorkel properly... maybe next time!
So we've been back a week putting the finishing touches on the album artwork for 'Time' and working hard to pay everything off. I'm very proud of all the hard work Ben, Nev and Jen have put into it as they've made me look fairly epic on the front so hopefully in a months time I'll have it in my hands and be able to look at where and when to launch.
I had a nice, quiet gig at Saunton Road Studios last night which was a nice way to end the week. It was lovely to finally meet Amy as we've exchanged emails over the years and I've obviously heard so many positive things about her. I have to say it's a great space for any musician, there's a very cool wood-chopped wall in the studio and I especially liked the paintbrush handle on the door...which I felt compelled to brush my hand with... I really can't not touch. It was a cosy atmosphere and a great opportunity to do some new songs; I pretty much gave up on the set list and just played what felt right and hoped they went down well. I even threw in a new cover that I proudly learned in 2 days - I can't even learn my own songs in 2 days! So I'm feeling refreshed, motivated and ready for Bristol next week - just can't decide what instruments to take!